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Toward successful organizational trust building

Why is building trust within an organization so important? 

Human resources are the most important intangible capital of organizations. Motivated, skilled, and committed personnel who trust in the future of their work organization contribute to the company's competitive advantage and improve its financial performance. Trust is a fundamental aspect that affects all functions of an organization.

Various technological, economic, and social policy disturbances cause changes in organizations. Various organizational changes challenge employee trust, that is, employees may feel that their positive expectations about the future of their own workplace are no longer met, and the future of the organization may be perceived as uncertain.

Change is not always avoidable, and when organizations face unexpected surprises, it is important that managers have an awareness of the importance of trust to the work community and knowledge of how to actively build and maintain trust during those times.

Why is regular measurement of employee trust levels so important?

Regular measurement of employee trust levels is beneficial to organizations. The measurement results form valuable employee feedback and longitudinal data, and a personnel planning tool that allows line management to monitor the development of employee trust and design an appropriate trust building strategy.

What does it mean to have a trust-building strategy?

A trust-building strategy is a conscious plan that actively selects and implements the concrete trust-building practices that best help build trust. Trust-building, maintenance, and corrective practices can be compared to human resource management (HRM) practices and focus on maintaining, building, or restoring employees' positive perceptions and expectations of organizational reliability and thus improve employee trust in management.

Why is it so important to measure the success of a chosen trust-building strategy?

It is beneficial to organizations to regularly measure trust and the success of the chosen trust-building strategy. The measurement results form valuable employee feedback and longitudinal data, and a personnel planning tool that allows line management to monitor the success of the trust-building practices implemented and, if necessary, update the strategy, taking into account the necessary areas in need of development.


Publications related to the TRUST TOOLS® service concept 

Scientific publications: 

I. Kähkönen, T., Blomqvist, K., Gillespie, N., & Vanhala, M. (2021). Employee trust repair : a systematic review of 20 years of empirical research and future research directions. Journal of Business Research, 130, 98-109. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2021.03.019

II. Kähkönen, T. (2020). Employee trust repair after organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 33(6), 1143-1161. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-05-2020-0136

III. Kähkönen, T. (2021). Repairing trust within teams after organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-11-2020-0348

IV. Kähkönen, T., Vanhala, M. and Blomqvist, K. (2020). Employee trust repair practices: scale development and validation. Paper presented at the 3rd Economics, Business and Organization Research Conference 20-22 November, Rome, Italy (online).  ISBN: 978-605-68816-6-4.


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